Nockamixon State Park
The 5,286-acre Nockamixon State Park is in the rolling hills of scenic Bucks County, close enough to Philadelphia or a day trip, but far enough away for a vacation. Tohickon Creek, Three Mile Run, and Haycock Run feed the 1,450-acre Lake Nockamixon, which is a rest stop for migrating waterfowl and a destination for boaters and anglers. Visitors can stay the night in a cabin or enjoy the many activities of the park for the day. Popular activities are picnicking, swimming in the pool, hiking, biking, disc golf, hunting, fishing, and boating.
Hiking - Biking - Mountain Biking - Horseback Riding - Picnicking - Swimming - Disc Golf - Boating - Windsurfing - Whitewater Releases - Fishing - Hunting - Orienteering - Education - Cross-country Skiing - Sledding - Ice Fishing - Ice Skating - Youth Hostel - Cabins
Seasons and Hours: The park is open every day of the year, sunrise to sunset. Day use areas close at dusk. The park office is open specific hours. Fishing and boating is permitted 24 hours a day in designated areas. Some park areas are closed to vehicles in the winter. Contact the park office for facility seasons and hours.
Picnicking: Picnic tables and charcoal grills are in several areas of the park and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Some picnic areas are closed in winter, but Haycock, Tohickon, the Marina, and Three Mile Run areas are open year round. Picnic pavilions by parking lots 1 and 5 may be reserved up to 11 months in advance for a fee. Unreserved pavilions are free on a first-come, first-served basis. Pavilions do not have electricity. Modern restrooms are available nearby.
Swimming: The swimming pool complex includes a half acre main pool with two waterslides, a shallow end with fountains for children, dressing rooms, first aid station, and snack bar. Weather permitting, the summer hours are 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM. The pool operates on a weekend only schedule from memorial day weekend through the second weekend in June when it shifts to a daily schedule. The pool will resume weekend only operation from mid-August through Labor Day weekend. Check the advisories tab for updates.
Swimming lessons are provided by the lifeguards. The pool is available for party rentals from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM and 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM.
Pool admission fee is charged, with reduced rates after 5:45 PM. Seasonal passes and group tickets for non-profit organizations can be purchased at the park office. A valid Pennsylvania identification is needed for resident rates. Swimming Pool Prices
Swimming Pool Brochure (pdf) (422 kb, 7/15)
Swimming is prohibited in Lake Nockamixon.
Explore swimming for more information.
Boating: up to 20 hp motors permitted
In addition to having the largest launch ramp in the park, the marina has docking facilities for 648 boats up to 24 feet in length, a 120-space dry storage area for boats on trailers, and 12 trailer spaces. Because of the tremendous demand for marina space, a waiting list is maintained at the park office for seasonal slips and dry storage spaces. Marina slips may be rented on a short-term basis as available. Contact the marina office or park office for additional information and applicable rates.
A boat rental concession has canoes, motorboats, rowboats, paddleboats, kayaks, paddle boards, and pontoon boats during the summer season. Call directly to the boat rental for applicable rates and regulations. 215-538-1340
Motorboats must display a current boat registration. Non-powered boats launched in a state park must display one of the following: boat registration; launching permit or mooring permit from Pennsylvania State Parks, available at most state park offices; launching permit from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.
From November 1st through April 30th, anyone on a boat less than 16 feet in length or any canoe or kayak must wear a Coast Guard approved personal flotation device (PFD or life jacket).
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission laws apply. Complete information on boating rules and regulations in Pennsylvania is available from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Web site.
Established in 1974, the Nockamixon Sailing Club organizes activities for sailing on Lake Nockamixon. The club serves both racing and cruising sailors with a full calendar of events from April to November each year. www.nockamixonsailclub.org
Windsurfing: Tohickon Boat Launch is popular for windsurfing. All boating regulations apply to wind surfboards, including the permits listed above.
Whitewater Releases: Conditions permitting, water is released from the dam on the first full weekend of November and the third weekend in March. The release provides an opportunity for whitewater enthusiasts to experience a thrilling run down Tohickon Creek to the Delaware River. Class IV rapids are sometimes achieved. Check the advisories tab for updates.
Explore the Calendar of Events for the exact dates of the releases.
Fishing: The 1,450-acre Lake Nockamixon is a warmwater fishery and classified a Big Bass Lake. Common species are walleye, muskellunge, pickerel, smallmouth and largemouth bass, striped bass hybrids, channel catfish, carp, and various types of panfish. There is a fishing pier at the midpoint of the lake in the Day Use Area and an ADA accessible fishing platform near the Haycock Boat Launch.
Loaner fishing rods are available at the park office with valid photo identification.
Volunteers, park employees, and Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission employees have installed fish habitat structures throughout the lake. A map showing the structures, water depths, and specific features of the lake is available at the park office, the marina office, and on the park website. Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission regulations and laws apply. Fish Habitat Structures Map
2013 Tiger Muskellunge and Walleye Surveys by PFBC (.pdf, 124 kb)
Fishing is prohibited in these areas:
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission laws apply. Complete information on fishing rules and regulations in Pennsylvania is available from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Web site.
Hunting and Firearms: About 3,500 acres are open to hunting, trapping and the training of dogs during established seasons. Common game species are deer, pheasant, rabbit and turkey. All of Nockamixon is included in the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Special Regulations Area for Southeastern Pennsylvania. Certain park areas are open to archery hunting only. No live birds may be released for training. Contact the park office for additional information. Hunting is available in the adjacent State Game Lands 157.
Hunting woodchucks, also known as groundhogs, is prohibited. Dog training is only permitted from the day following Labor Day through March 31 in designated hunting areas. The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Pennsylvania Game Commission rules and regulations apply. Contact the park office for ADA accessible hunting information.
Use extreme caution with firearms at all times. Other visitors use the park during hunting seasons. Firearms and archery equipment used for hunting may be uncased and ready for use only in authorized hunting areas during hunting seasons. In areas not open to hunting or during non-hunting seasons, firearms and archery equipment shall be kept in the owner’s vehicle or enclosed trailer. Exceptions include: law enforcement officers and individuals with a valid Pennsylvania License to Carry Firearms are authorized to carry a firearm concealed on their person while they are within a state park.
Complete information on hunting rules and regulations in Pennsylvania is available from the Pennsylvania Game Commission Web site.
Hiking: The hiking trails of the park explore forests, fields, and the edge of the lake. For the safety of all park users, dogs must be leashed and under physical control while in the park. Pet owners are responsible for cleaning up after their pets.
Sterner Mill Hiking Area: 1.8 miles, more difficult hiking
High Bridge Trail: 1.2 miles, more difficult hiking
Quarry Trail: 2.65 miles, more difficult hiking
Old Mill Trail: 5.6 miles, more difficult hiking
Old Haycock Road: 1.3 miles, easiest hiking
Southside of the Lake Trails: 13.5 miles, easiest hiking
Biking: 2 miles of trail
Mountain Biking: 10 miles of trails
Horseback Riding: Horseback riding is permitted on roadsides throughout the park and on the following trails: Quarry, Old Mill, and the trails on the south side of the lake. Pedestrians should yield to horses. Horses may be rented at a private establishment near the park. Carriages and vehicles are prohibited on trails, except for approved ADA equipment.
Disc Golfing: An 18-hole course in the Day Use Area begins from Parking Lot 13 by the Children’s Fishing Pond. Loaner discs are available at the park office with valid photo identification.
Modern Cabins: Located on the south side of Lake Nockamixon, ten modern cabins are available for rent year round. Each cabin contains a furnished living area, kitchen/dining area, and toilet/shower room. The kitchen has a refrigerator, stove, and microwave. Outdoors is a fire ring, grill, and picnic table. These electrically heated cabins have two bedrooms (sleeps six) or three bedrooms (sleeps 8). Cabin 6 is ADA accessible. Renters must provide their own bed linens, towels, cookware, tableware, and first aid kit. In the summer, cabins must be rented by the week. For the remainder of the year, the minimum stay is two nights. Cabins 1, 2, 3, and 6 allow dogs.
GPS DD: Lat. 40.44756 Long. -75.23415
Explore cabins for more information.
Hostel: The Bucks County Department of Parks and Recreation operates the Weisel Hostel along the Tohickon Creek in the northwest corner of the park. The hostel provides excellent overnight accommodations for hikers and bicyclists. For membership or reservations, contact the house parents at: Weisel Hostel, 7347 Richlandtown Road, Quakertown, PA 18951, 215-536-8749. www.buckscounty.org
Cross-country Skiing: The bicycle trail and roads in the closed day use area are open for cross-country skiing. There are also steeper hiking trails in the Sterner Mill Area. Cross-country ski trails are not groomed.
Sledding: The area above the Marina is used for sledding and tobogganing. Park in Lot #13. Do not block gates.
Ice Fishing: Fishing is permitted on the frozen lake surface when conditions are suitable. Ice thickness is not monitored.
Ice Skating: Skating is permitted on the frozen lake surface when conditions are suitable. Ice thickness is not monitored.
Environmental Education and Interpretation
Nockamixon State Park offers a wide variety of environmental education, interpretive, and recreational programs. Through guided walks, hands-on educational activities, children’s programs, and evening programs, visitors gain appreciation, understanding, and develop a sense of stewardship toward natural and cultural resources.
Programs are offered late spring through fall. Teacher workshops and educational programs for schools are available. Please contact the park office for more information. The Environmental Education Center is only open for programs, check the DCNR calendar of events for a schedule of programs.
Pontoon boat tours of the lake board at the marina. These tours provide a history of the park and views of wildlife and beautiful scenery. Preregistration for the boat tours is required and starts in early April. Please contact the park office.
Explore the Calendar of Events for a listing of upcoming events.
Explore environmental education and interpretation for more information.
Access for People with Disabilities
If you need an accommodation to participate in park activities due to a disability, please contact the park you plan to visit.
Over 250 species of birds have been recorded at Nockamixon State Park. The numerous habitats of the park are havens for birds and wildlife. The park has grasslands, successional fields, pine plantations, second growth forests, wetlands, and the 1,450-acre Lake Nockamixon.
The fishing pier in the Day Use Area is a great place to look for migrating waterfowl and raptors in the spring and fall. Over twenty species of waterfowl, including ducks, grebes, swans, geese, and loons have been recorded in the park.
The paved bike trail in the Day Use Area passes through forests, overgrown fields, and picnic groves. Finches and sparrows are year-round residents. Spring and summer visitors to the area include Baltimore orioles, blue-winged warblers, prairie warblers, and white-eyed vireos.
The forest by the pool in the Day Use Area is a good place to see pileated woodpeckers, which have nested there. Phoebes and eastern wood- pewees are common summer residents of the park. Migratory warblers often visit to rest and refuel in the trees.
The lake by the marina is a great place to look for waterfowl, especially rafts of ducks during migration. In March and April, huge flocks of gulls pass through the area. Vultures roost by the marina year round. Nesting boxes in the grassy areas near the marina host eastern bluebirds and tree swallows. Please do not disturb nest boxes.
The forest around the cabin area comes alive each spring with the songs of wood thrushes, veeries, and ovenbirds. Summer visitors to Mink Trail are prairie warblers, Baltimore orioles, eastern towhees, and white-eyed vireos.
The varied habitats by the dam support diverse bird species. The hemlock dominated forest is a year-round home to woodpeckers and a summer breeding grounds for thrushes, scarlet tanagers, and warblers. The spillway of the dam is a favorite spot for killdeer, sandpipers, herons, great egrets, kingfishers, and osprey. The woodlot above the dam is home to wrens, rose-breasted grosbeaks, and blue-gray gnatcatchers.
Bald eagles and osprey have been spotted around the deep waters above the dam and can be seen anywhere around the lake especially in February, March, and September.
The common birds brochure lists the birds most likely to be seen in the park and in which habitat. Common Birds of Nockamixon State Park (.pdf) (324 kb, 7/16)
A pull off along South Park Road west of the bridge over Tohickon Creek provides a scenic view of the dam spillway. In the winter, the water freezes into a myriad of colors and shapes and creates one of the park’s most spectacular sights.
This unusual rock formation is downstream of the dam and upstream of South Park Road on the east side of the creek. It is accessible via the mountain bike trail.
Native and Warm Season Grass Fields
When the park was created in the 1960s, most of the land had been small farms. Since then, the fields have become overgrown with non-native species like autumn olive and multiflora rose. The park has reclaimed many of these fields and planted them with native warm-season grasses like indiangrass, big and little bluestem, and switchgrass. These grasslands provide a critical habitat which is rare in Pennsylvania. The fields benefit grassland birds like meadowlarks, bobolinks, and grasshopper sparrows, and wild turkey, rabbits, and small mammals.
For detailed information on the geology of the area, the Pennsylvania Bureau of Topographic and Geologic Survey created the brochure Trail of Geology 14 Park Guide, Nockamixon State Park.
The name Nockamixon comes from the Native American phrase “nocha-miska-ing” which is Lenni Lenape for “at the place of soft soil.” Several American Indian sites from the Lenni Lenape Tribe are documented in the park area.
Secretary of the Department of Forests and Waters, Dr. Maurice K. Goddard, proposed the park in 1958. The park was developed as part of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plan for the Delaware River Basin.
Originally known as Tohickon State Park after the principal stream flowing into Lake Nockamixon, it was renamed Nockamixon State Park by the State Geographic Board in 1965. The park officially opened in December of 1973.
Keep in Touch
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Becoming a Conservation Volunteer is easy.
Join a Friends Group
The Friends of Nockamixon State Park (FONSP) is a chapter of the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation and qualifies as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The mission of the FONSP is to preserve, protect and enhance the natural and recreational resources of Nockamixon State Park for present and future generations. friendsofnockamixonstatepark-org.doodlekit.com/home
Nockamixon Sailing Club: This non-profit organization promotes recreational sailing on Lake Nockamixon. www.nockamixonsailclub.org
Valley Mountain Bikers: This non-profit organization promotes mountain biking in the park. www.bikevmb.com
RideNox: This mountain bike trail maintenance group maintains the mountain bike trails and provides information on mountain bike trail conditions. The group also hosts organized mountain biking events on the trails. www.ridenox.com
Lehigh Valley Disc Golf Club: This disc golf club maintains the 18-hole disc golf course and hosts tournaments and other disc golf events. www.lvdiscgolf.org
Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation
Believing that each generation is responsible for leaving behind a better legacy of good conservation, the Pennsylvania Parks & Forests Foundation (PPFF) was created in 1999 to give supporters and users of Pennsylvania's parks and forests a positive way to contribute to the conservation of our publicly-owned properties. The Pennsylvania Parks & Forests Foundation welcomes the support of individuals and businesses who share a commitment to conserving, protecting, and enhancing the natural, scenic, and recreational areas of this commonwealth. www.paparksandforests.org
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We love when young people ask us how to get involved!
DiscoverE has programs for young people ages 4 to 17, provided by Pennsylvania State Park educators. By combining recreation and education, we hope to motivate children to learn more and return often, leading to a lifetime of outdoor enjoyment and conservation leadership.
In Watershed Education, teachers and students assess water quality of a local stream on a quarterly basis and develop strategies to solve local water quality problems.
ECO Camp - Exploring Careers Outdoors - is a week-long residential camp for a cross-section of high school youth from across Pennsylvania, sponsored by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR). Participate in action-packed, hands on activities and recreational adventures in Pennsylvania’s state parks and forests that expose youth to conservation, recreation and careers in natural resources. Learn how people make a living working in the outdoors.
Explore education for more information on these and other programs.
Explore the Calendar of Events to find a program near you.
Do you take conservation personally? iConservePA is a Web site managed by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources whose vision is to inspire citizens to value their natural resources, engage in conservation practices and experience the outdoors. Take conservation personally.
Come Work with Us
Pennsylvania State Parks and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources offer a wide range of civil service and non-civil service jobs, from foresters, to rangers, to engineers, to educators, to botanists and so much more. Learn what is currently available.
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Nockamixon State Park
Information on nearby attractions is available from Visit Bucks County. visitbuckscounty.com
Encompassing 2,010 acres, State Game Land 157 adjoins the northeast border of the park. Hunting and hiking are popular activities. Hiking trails are not blazed.
At Delaware Canal State Park visitors enjoy biking, hiking, boating, and learning about the canal building era of American history.
At Ralph Stover State Park visitors enjoy seasonal whitewater boating, scenic sightseeing, and rock climbing.
Maps and Downloadables
Below are many of the maps and publications for this park. You can read them or download them and might need special software (all free) to view the publications.
You must have the free Adobe Reader to view the maps and brochures that are in pdf format (.pdf).
Alternate versions of the text of the brochures are in rich text and text formats. Click on the files to view them. To download (.rtf) files:
Interactive GIS Map
The Interactive GIS Map uses Geographic Information Systems to create a map that does not need to be downloaded and features driving directions, searchable park amenities and customizable maps. Please note that the background maps are maintained by a variety of public sources and driving directions usually go to the nearest large road.
Nockamixon State Park Cabin Map (.pdf) (1,706 kb, 12/13)
Nockamixon State Park Marina Map (.pdf) (50 kb, 3/11)
Fish Habitat Structure Map
Common Birds Brochure
Common Birds of Nockamixon State Park (.pdf) (324 kb, 7/16)
Swimming Pool Brochure
Swimming Pool Brochure (.pdf) (732 kb, 3/14)
Nockamixon Orienteering Map (.pdf) (1,309 kb, 4/14)
Nockamixon State Park is along PA 563, just off PA 313, five miles east of Quakertown and nine miles north of Doylestown. The main entrances are along PA 563 and can be reached via PA 309 and PA 313, or from the north from PA 611 and PA 412.
GPS DD: Lat. 40.46342 Long. -75.24179
Driving Directions: The Interactive GIS Map has turn-by-turn driving directions to the park office from the Park Information Window. Please note that the background maps are maintained by a variety of public sources and driving directions usually go to the nearest large road.
Nockamixon State Park